Alternate Names : Cancer of the Bladder
Bladder cancer is a form of cancer affecting the internal lining of the bladder. Bladder cancer can be superficial or invasive.
What is going on in the body?
Cancer occurs when a cell undergoes changes that cause it to grow and multiply uncontrollably. Eventually a tumor will form. More than one tumor in the bladder may develop at the same time. If not treated, a tumor will grow through the bladder wall. It may then spread to structures around the bladder. Cells from the tumor can also enter the bloodstream and spread to distant parts of the body, a process known as metastasis.
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
Use of tobacco products, smoking in particular, may lead to bladder cancer. The cancer-causing chemicals are absorbed in the lungs and then excreted into the urine. The lining of the bladder is exposed to concentrated amounts of these poisons for long periods. Other chemicals, such as aniline dyes, are known to cause similar damage.
The following occupations are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer:
chemical or petroleum workers
drill press operators
tire and rubber workers
Other known risk factors for bladder cancer include the following:
certain types of chronic bladder infections
family history of bladder cancer
Suspected risk factors include:
frequent urinary tract infections
high dietary cholesterol
highly chlorinated drinking water
pain medicines containing phenacetin
water contaminated with pesticides